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"Let people know you can be a safe haven, that you can be confided in and that you will support their rights", Mia Eton-McKinsey

LGBTQIA+ rights are human rights

To me this means everyone must be allowed to live freely, as they prefer and without experiencing discrimination, either in the workplace or in their private life.

First, I have tried to understand the history of and around the LGBTQIA+ community and the discrimination that some may experience. These are experiences I continue to gain insight and understanding of.

Next, I remind myself that the LGBTQIA+ community consists of many different people, and I am also very aware of, for example, transphobia.

I also actively try to be aware that gender and/or identity can be different to every single person - and I make sure to behave respectfully. If I have any doubts about how the person identifies themselves or the pronouns they prefer, I simply ask. I've never been met with anything but kindness, so I think you can safely do that as well.

It is not about me!

Born heterosexual is a privileged position of which I am very aware, and I always try to educate myself.

I’ve done this as Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at Copenhagen Pride between 2009-2013 and I also served on the board of WorldPride in 2021.

This experience taught me a lot and I quickly understood it isn’t about me, my needs or my ego. It is about helping wherever I can. In my experience it is about asking how and where you can help as an ally, not setting the scene yourself. You might be needed in front of the parade, you might be needed in the back of the parade or you might be needed on the pavement cheering on. Ask, never assume.

 The LGBTQIA+ community is my family 

My younger brother, Thomas, is a professional drag queen and host of the dinner show at Wallmanns in Cirkusbygningen, Copenhagen.

He also hosts Drag Night during Copenhagen Pride Week every year. He is excellent at his profession and very well respected. His drag queen persona is Megan Moore and being a drag queen is his everyday job.

He is gay and came out to his family and friends at age 16. It was extremely important to all of us that he felt loved and safe in doing so. We continue to rally around and support him in every way we can.

Draghouse – the house Drag built

Four times a year I produce and present Draghouse with a friend at a local venue in Copenhagen. Draghouse is a drag show representing drag queens, non-binary, drag kings, trans queens and kings - we always aim towards a full LGBTQIA+ representation.

Providing a stage and a voice for the LGBTQIA+ community in a safe space is crucial to us. Furthermore, and perhaps just as important, we have great fun doing so.

I grew up around drag queens and I consider many of them as my chosen family.

Never be a bystander – always support

To me being an ally also means to support LGBTIA+ colleagues in the workplace.

Let people know you can be a safe haven, that you can be confided in and that you will support their rights – not only on an overall strategic level, but in the everyday life as well. 

Make people aware you will intervene if anyone slurs or insults them, and you will not accept any kind of discrimination towards them. However, I always ask if someone needs my help before speaking up. Getting permission to help is key to me, since the fact that a colleague is a LGBTQIA+ person does not automatically mean they need your help.

You are not there to save anyone, you are there to support, if needed.

Finally, I want to share that my pronouns are she/her and I identify as a cis woman.

Happy Pride Month to everyone!

Mia Eton-McKinsey, Nordics, Marketing Manager